Beyond the Simulation Lab: Introducing and using Immersive Virtual Reality Simulation
Knowledge Transfer from Simulation in Healthcare
The effectiveness of immersive simulation technology in the medical field in improving learners’ knowledge and clinical skills.
Experiential learning has become an integral part of healthcare education. Simulation is an established pedagogy and andragogy for teaching medical and healthcare clinical skills to students. The purpose is to improve the learner’s outcome.
A growing body of research evidence analyzes the effectiveness of immersive simulation technology in the medical field to improve learners’ knowledge and clinical skills. At the same time, it focuses on enhancing patient outcomes.
Although simulation technologies, such as VR and AR, can improve medical and healthcare students’ skills, it is crucial to utilize or transfer the knowledge to the clinical context, allowing health professionals to improve patient outcomes. Read on!
Transforming Medical Education
Improvement in medical and healthcare education requires examining and addressing issues of quality and safety. A well-designed simulation can set the stage for medical and healthcare students to resolve real-world problems, collect, synthesize, analyze data, and make informed clinical decisions.
Although simulation can supplement teaching and learning practices in the classroom and clinical settings, fidelity must streamline knowledge transfer. Besides fidelity and technology, aligning simulation with real-world procedures is essential.
For instance, students and health professionals must simulate performing the actual procedure. Insights obtained from the simulation can be applied to the real-world procedure by the same team of students and health professionals.
So, this is what knowledge transfer from simulation in healthcare occurs, transforming medical and healthcare education and practices in the clinical context. However, it is crucial to ensure performance evaluation when using simulations.
The purpose is to ensure the data and insights are valid, accurate, feasible, evidence-based, and acceptable to stakeholders.
Using simulation, the transformation of medical education will allow educators to assess students’ abilities and competence in basic and complex clinical problems.
The Power of High Fidelity Simulation
High fidelity simulation is an advanced technology that uses like-like manikins or avatars in real-world patient scenarios. High-fidelity manikins and avatars have variable heart rates, breathing chests, palpable pulses, and measurable blood pressure.
Unlike low fidelity manikins that medical and healthcare students use for repeated clinical practices, such as catheter placement, high fidelity manikins have various components, including a pulse oximeter, EKG displays, pulmonary artery waveforms, arterial waveforms, etc.
Therefore, high fidelity simulation technologies, such as manikins or avatars, allow medical and healthcare students to perform various procedures, such as bag-mask ventilation, defibrillation, intubation, chest tube placement, etc.
Bear in mind that well-trained, experienced, and skilled simulation technologists often operate high-fidelity simulation in a dedicated control room. The operator views the progress and makes changes to the simulator according to the scenario.
A medical educator or teacher is present in the control room. The educator directs the educational aspects of the clinical setting. Students must respond to changes in the simulation without focusing on the instructor’s cues.
Therefore, researchers argue that finding the correct level of simulation fidelity for a given clinical situation is important.
So, this will make the training and knowledge transfer more practical and economical.
Improved Judgements in Clinical Practice
Simulation-based training can improve students’ clinical skills and judgments in real-world patient environments. Although there are various challenging students face in transitioning from theory to application, evidence-based methodologies will make the transition to the hospital settings easier.
For instance, health professionals and students working in real-world environments can help them examine symptoms and vital signs effectively after carrying out the simulation. Simulation-based training allows students to make informed decisions in assessing vital signs in clinical settings.
Rigorous research in coming years in the field of medical and healthcare simulation will enhance knowledge transfer. It will help students realize how aligning simulation-based training and real-world procedure can improve communication with healthcare team members, patients, and families.
Moreover, simulation-based training can develop medical students’ clinical performance in evaluating and managing different situations in clinical placements.
So, simulation-based training, including immersive VR and AR technologies, will become an integral part of medical and healthcare education.
Numerous research studies show that major themes emerging from simulation-based training aligned with clinical practice are improved clinical judgments, promoted self-confidence, and team collaboration.
Although many educational fields acquire skills in immersive simulation, in some sectors, such as medical or healthcare, a simulation is an excellent way to effectively and safely practice core skills.
However, there are challenges in knowledge transfer from simulation in healthcare. Evidence-based research carried out in the future will streamline and improve the knowledge transfer processes. Until Next Time!